Best UK Mobile Networks: Are You Stuck With The Wrong Mobile Network?

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Are you using UKa€™s best mobile network? Well, I’m sure you have an opinion like many others, but who is the best mobile provider? If you are just about to finish you contract with a network your not happy with or just interested in finding out once and for all then we have the answers.The mobile network you choose will determine your future mobile bills and overall experience with calls, Internet and other services.

You may hear a lot of anecdotes from your friends or colleagues regarding the best mobile networks, however, ita€™s a subjective issue and connectivity can vary from place to place, and day to day.We are going to have a look around to find the most reliable studies and tests to get you the best all round mobile network in the UK. Let’s take a look at who won big at the uSwitch Awards 2016.

uSwitch Awards 2016: The winners

Vodafone is UK’s best mobile network, is that what you think? Nope. Sadly, thata€™s not true. The following are the results of the Mobile Awards that were based on a judging panel and 5000 consumers.

Top 3: Giffgaff, Tesco and Three
You wona€™t be expecting that, did you? But thata€™s true, Giffgaff was crowned with the best mobile network of 2016. Following its leads were Tesco Mobile in second place and Three taking third place. In fact, Vodafone wasna€™t able to scoop even a single top position from tonnes of other categories.

The only positive that Vodafone can take home, is the fact that they were 2nd place in Britain’s fastest network score. Vodafone also took home 3rd position for the best PAYG network in the UK but other then that they were never to be seen on the leaderboard. In the past, Vodafone was considered the most popular mobile network, their slow upgrade towards 4G may have led to the decline in customer satisfaction.

GiffGaff received a total of 5 awards, including 2 top prizes for mobile Network of the Year and Best SIM-only Network. Virgin Media won the award for the best customer experience, second being O2. For all you contract hunters out there, Three was voted the best pay monthly network. This is probably because they are the only ones providing an all you can eat data plan.


Awards based on a judging panel and only 5000 consumers? Too many reasons for bias. Take a look at the following research by Ofcom. Ofcom regulates broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries of the United Kingdom. They have a responsibility to report to Parliament on issues and operates under a number of parliamentary acts, especially the Communications Act 2003. So they would have a fair and unbias opinion about what is the best network in the UK.

Ofcom research 2016: The four big networks
On March 31, 2016, Ofcom released its research about the four largest networks of UK: O2, EE, Three and Vodafone.The study was confined to UKa€™s five cities: Edinburgh, Cardiff, Liverpool, Norwich and London. There were two key parameters of the study: downloading speed and internet browsing performance.
So who was on the top? EE was ranked as the best mobile network when it comes to both download speed and web browsing performance. These are the stats:

  • 5 seconds average page load speed.
  • 20MB/S of average downloading speed.
  • A 98 percent success rate for page loading.



But if you are living in Norwich, Three was able to take the top slot as the fastest network. In addition to the two aforementioned criteria, Ofcom also appraised mobile networks on the basis of complaints lodged against the mobile networks. According to the findings, Tesco Mobile had the least number of complaints per 100,000 users.

Vodafone, however, had seen a rising level of complaints all due to the incorrect billing in 2015. But now, the mobile network has introduced a unique policy which allows you to cancel your subscription within the first 30 days of your contract. This was most likely implemented as OfCom applied the pressure on Vodafone to improve their ability to respond to customer complaints and issues.

There is a good reason for OfComs pressure on Vodafone. RootMetrics is an independent mobile measurement firm who has conducted nearly one million checks, ranking operators in different categories based on speed, data and service. Their results showed that Vodafone came last in all but one category. Network speed was the only group Vodafone jumped out of the last spot. EE scored an overwhelming score of 84.6 out of 100, taking first place by a margin of 11. Vodafone scored a disappointing 52.4 out of 100. The positive score from EE, is attributed to the significant investments made by the company in network upgrades and capabilities. EE is considered the best mobile network after vigorous tests completed by Rootmetrics.

Best Network?

The Two Worst Networks?

After Vodafone’s failure to provide good quality customer service and detrimental loss in confidence of their clients after overcharging them because of a ‘systematic problems’, Vodafone is our first choice UK mobile network to avoid.

Lyca Mobile has the worst reviews i have seen. A score of 0.7 out of 10 on TristPilot

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